An unctuously fatty cut, my recipe for slow-roasted Mediterranean lamb rib is served on warm flatbread with lashings of tzatziki. Here’s how I developed this tasty dish – perfect for a winter’s dinner.

Spending time on the Cape West Coast always inspires my recipes.

As an author and a cook, I’m constantly on the lookout for ingredients that highlight this unique coastline, bringing its simple flavours into my kitchen and ultimately on to the dinner table.

Usually I will always go for seafood, enjoying the abundance of local fish available in seaside towns from Saldanha to Elands Bay. But what with it being winter here in the Cape, I’m in the mood for a hearty lamb dish. Fortunately, I know I can find the best Sandveld lamb at Weskus Mall in Vredenburg. Keeping my motivation to cook new and exciting dishes during the nationwide lockdown has been challenging, with venturing out to do my shopping often causing anxiety. Living in a small town means that I don’t always have access to the ingredients I need and so when I do shop, I like to be able to get all my items in one place. Conveniently and safely!

The wearing of a cloth mask is enforced for patrons of Weskus Mall, as is being sanitized at all entrances to the shopping centre. Inside the mall, there are various points where you can self-sanitize, and shoppers are encouraged to practice social distancing at all times. Each store has an employee at the door to sanitize me, making sure to keep my hands clean and safe before I handle any items inside the shop.

After taking inspiration from one of the recipes from my cookbook West Coast Wander, I’m ready to begin looking for the ingredients I’ll need to make today’s recipe – slow-roasted Mediterranean Lamb Rib with a Weskus twist!

Thankfully, what with Weskus Mall’s stringent new safety protocols for combatting the COVID 19 virus, I feel safer when shopping for food and other essentials. Here I have access to a wide selection of fresh produce stores and supermarkets where I can find all that I need to create delicious dishes.

My experience at Weskus Mall is one designed to provide peace of mind, meaning that I can devote my attention to the recipe at hand!

Let’s get started.

Slow-roasted Mediterranean Lamb Rib

Redolent of the fynbos they feed on, local lamb is tender, unctuously fatty and yields delicious results when cooked slowly.

Prep time: 20 mins/Cook time: 2 hours/Serves: 4-6

You will need:

  • 1kg lamb rib
  • 2 large lemons
  • 3 sprigs mint, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs dill, finely chopped
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary, left whole
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5-10ml finely grated bokkom
  • Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 25-50ml olive oil
  • 150-250ml dry white wine (I used Fryer’s Cove Doringbay Sauvignon Blanc)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 shallots
  • 8-10 readymade flatbreads or pita breads

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Zest and juice the lemons and combine with the olive oil, chopped dill and mint, garlic and grated bokkom. Season the marinade with black pepper a little salt and pour in the olive oil. Tuck the rosemary sprigs in and around the lamb rib to infuse flavour and if possible, leave the meat to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Making sure the lamb rib is skin-side up in the roasting dish, pour over the white wine and cover the dish with foil. Slow-braise the ribs – 220°C for the first 20 minutes, followed by 150°C for a further hour to hour and a half. In the final 30 minutes of cooking, remove the foil from the dish and add in the cherry tomatoes and sliced shallots. When ready, the ribs should be falling off the bone and the cooking liquid syrupy. Use a fork to shred the lamb into the liquid, discarding any bones.

Fry the flatbreads on a lightly oiled griddle pan. Serve the shredded lamb on the flatbreads with a dollop of tzatziki, the roasted tomatoes and shallots, cucumber wedges and sliced red onion.

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

SLOW ROASTED MEDITERRANEAN LAMB RIB

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